Friday, May 28, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
This is one of our favorite dinners. Serve with hummus and cut-up red peppers, cucumbers and baby tomatoes. We sometimes throw some grilled chicken on top if we have leftovers. The best thing is that you can make this salad early in the day. It is actually better when it has been in the fridge for awhile. I try to get feta cheese with herbs from Trader Joe's and then omit the oregano and pepper.
- 2 cups cooked brown rice
- 3/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 chopped cucumber
- 1 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1 cup chopped red, orange or yellow pepper
- 8 cups bagged prewashed spinach (about 8 ounces)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups (8 ounces) reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted
Cool rice after cooking.
Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add spinach and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until spinach wilts.
Combine rice, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, pepper, spinach mixture, cheese, and beans. Sprinkle with nuts; serve with lemon wedges, if desired.
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light
Monday, May 24, 2010
Friday, May 21, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
When making my list of 10 things to accomplish in 2010, I chose "learn to make bread" for several reasons.
- To feel pretty darn cool, in that Southern California Earth Mama way.
- There is nothing like the smell of freshly-baked bread.
- The magic of flour, yeast, water, salt combining to make something so delicious.
- My family has a history with bread. NY Italian bread at Grandma's kitchen table, seeds falling into our teacups. We like sandwiches for dinner, toast for breakfast, and bread dipped in sauce for an appetizer.
- My kids. Bread-making is something they can participate in, mixing ingredients, playing with dough. And, they will actually eat the end result!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I was a vegetarian for about 6 years. Never a good one, mind you. Lots of bagels and cereal and salads. College cafeterias in the late 90's were not catering to vegetarians, that's for sure. I suddenly started to eat meat again, about 8 years ago. Turkey and chicken mainly, but occasionally, a hamburger, too. I cannot seem to say 'no' when my husband asks if I want an "In and Out" burger.
In light of the health and ecological benefits of eating vegetarian, I have been trying to prepare at least 3 vegetarian meals each week for our family. Pasta with vegetables, veggie pizza and vegetable lasagna are staples. But I have been trying to branch out. I tried this recipe last week. I loved it and ate it for lunch 3 days straight. My little one, C, ate it straight out of the serving bowl. My daughter, L, picked at it. And my husband said, "Yeah. I just don't like tofu."
Mixed reviews, I would have to admit. But, if you like tofu, you will like this. Oh, and I can't say 'no' to goat cheese, either.
Note: I added a can of pinto beans.
(Photo and recipe from Real Simple online)
Hands-On Time: 20m
Total Time: 20m
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu—drained, patted dry, and crumbled
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
kosher salt and black pepper
1 10-ounce package frozen corn (2 cups), thawed
1 5-ounce package baby spinach (about 6 loosely packed cups)
8 small flour tortillas, warmed
3/4 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese (3 ounces)
3/4 cup store-bought refrigerated salsa
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the tofu, chili powder, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the corn and cook, tossing, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and toss until wilted.
Fill the tortillas with the tofu mixture, goat cheese, and salsa.
Monday, May 17, 2010
Do you get the Monday blues? I feel like I get them even worse now, as a stay-at-home mom, than I did when I was working full-time. I am not sure why.
Maybe it is that weekends tend to be slower now. I am able to get the errands, chores and such completed during the week. So, weekends really feel like family time now. Time to go to the park, take naps, go to church, eat dinner with friends.
I used to be so busy, before I had kids. Filling every moment with something social, or shopping, or going to the beach, or getting ready to go out with friends. I didn't really appreciate the slow and simple as I do now. Not that having kids will do this to everyone; it is just what happened to me.
This weekend was slow and, quite possibly, boring to some. Lucky me.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Some days the cliche is true. "The little things" can really bring a moment of quiet, of peace, of beauty into the day.
A day full of quick breakfasts, singing in the car, playing at the park, washing dishes, cleaning dirty kid feet, brushing teeth, washing dishes (again), doing laundry, buckling bike helmets, and calling scrambled eggs 'dinner.'
My little thing on this beautiful Friday: Mother's Day bouquet, reconstructed. Out with the wilted flowers and in with a cute little display near the front door.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Seems to me that every article I read about parenting and living a balanced life mentions having a regular date night. If you really care about your marriage, then you must have a date night. I think that is great in theory. I think that if we lived by my parents we would be going out a few times a month. But, our current situation does not lend itself to weekly nights out for me and my husband.
Why do I feel so badly about that fact? (And why do I hate the term "date night" so darn much?)
I care about our marriage. I love my husband's company. I appreciate time away from the kids to engage one another without interruptions from the kids.
So, we have tried "In House" nights with dinner at the table, glasses of wine, no TV, no internet.
It works. It is true. We connect. Our conversation veers away from our daily happenings, the kids and such. We talk about things we used to talk about. Things we talked about before kids. Before mortgage payments. When nights out would start at 7:00 and last until late in the night. When mornings would be spent sleeping in.
We have fallen out of this pattern and I am thinking it is time to reinstate the "no interruptions" dinner with the hubs.
Today's goal: get it on the calendar. And, come up with a new name for "Date Night."
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
1. learn to bake bread
2. learn to sew; take a class
3. get yoga back into my life
4. plant small garden near garage
5. start an art/play group for kids and friends
6. find a place to volunteer with kids
7. in-house date night every other week
8. learn to use espresso maker
9. overnight trip with Steve
10. start a blog
Well, it is May. Halfway through May, actually. I am doing a reasonably good job. More on my progress to come...I wonder if a blog with no readers will actually keep me accountable to this list.
I ran through Target and Trader Joe's like I was on an episode of "Supermarket Sweep."
I kissed my husband when he walked in the door.
I forced my two-year-old son to say, "I love you, too, Mama." when I expressed my devotion to him. Twice.
I made my super 5-minute-dinner, spinach ravioli. Five minutes was too long for the hungry young ones.
I took an extra long shower and shaved my legs.
At the end of the day I felt very accomplished. The shaving of the legs really tipped the scales in my favor.